Delicious Jamaican Rice and Peas in a Rice Cooker
If you’ve ever wanted a quick, easy and delicious Jamaican rice and peas in a rice cooker recipe, this is it! Jamaican rice and peas is one of the most popular dishes for lovers of Jamaican cuisine. And with good reason. This is because it’s often the side dish of choice when having Sunday dinner. It is a tasty dish that goes perfectly well with jerk chicken, oxtail, fried chicken and other Jamaican favourites. Despite its popularity, however, Jamaican rice and peas can be challenging to cook. Traditionally, cooking rice and peas is a tedious process that involves soaking and cooking the beans for hours. It also usually involves making coconut milk from scratch. This makes many people shy away from making it at home. But today we’ll take the fuss out of cooking this iconic dish. Now you’ll learn to cook flavourful rice and peas with this easy Jamaican rice and peas in a rice cooker recipe.
Quick, Easy and Delicious!
This rice cooker recipe is my go-to recipe when I’m cooking rice and peas. This is because it’s simple to prepare, and ready to devour in 30 – 35 minutes. The secret to making this dish quick and easy dish is using canned kidney beans (or gungo peas) and instant coconut milk. This allows the meal prep and cooking time to be half that of the traditional stove-top recipe. Another reason to fall in love with this rice and peas recipe. Jamaican rice and peas is so flavourful and filling that it is amazingly delicious on its own – no meat necessary! That’s why it’s a top choice for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. Overall, rice and peas is one of those meals that lovers of Jamaican food, can’t get enough of. Especially if it’s rich in coconut milk – as this recipe is!
What is Jamaican rice and peas made of?
Jamaican rice and peas is a blend of rice, beans, and spices. Yes, I said ‘beans’ instead of ‘peas’. This is because the legume commonly used in this recipe is red kidney beans. However, for special occasions like Christmas dinner, Jamaicans often substitute kidney beans with pigeon or ‘gungo’ peas.
Another important ingredient in Jamaican rice and peas is coconut milk. For Jamaican rice and peas to be authentic, it must be made with coconut milk. There’s no substituting it. This is because coconut milk is the secret ingredient that gives this recipe its appetizing smell and signature taste.
Is Jamaican Rice and Peas healthy?
Jamaican Rice and Peas can be a healthy dish. The key to making this recipe healthy is in choosing healthy ingredients. Although white rice traditionally used in the Jamaican rice and peas recipe, there are healthier alternatives to white rice. By substituting the white rice for brown rice, you will significantly cut your caloric intake and get a healthier dish. Let us consider the three main ingredients in this recipe, and look at their health benefits.
- Rice – Let’s look at white rice vs. brown rice. White rice is rice that has had its husk, bran and germ removed. Unfortunately, refining also strips the rice of the nutrients, fibre and minerals. However, brown rice is a whole grain and is rich in essential nutrients like fibre, B vitamins, iron, and magnesium. These nutrients help to lower cholesterol, improves digestion and control blood sugar levels.
- Red Kidney Beans – Red kidney beans are protein and fibre rich. It is also low in fat. Similar to brown rice, consuming red kidney beans helps to lower cholesterol, improve digestion and blood sugar control. However, be careful when consuming red kidney bean because too much may make you ‘gassy’.
- Coconut Milk – Coconut milk is not only a flavour-rich ingredient but it is healthy too. Even though coconut milk has a high-fat content it also has several health benefits! This includes boosting the immune system and promoting cardiovascular health.
Another great thing about this recipe is there is no sugar or butter added.
What is the best rice cooker to buy?
I’ve been using the same rice cooker for two years. Since then, I haven’t gone back to cooking rice on the stovetop. I love my rice cooker (affiliate link) and highly recommend it. Using a rice cooker gives me perfectly cooked rice every time. But there are tips for getting the best results from a rice cooker and I’ll share them with you. To get the best results, always make sure to use the cup provided with your rice cooker. Another important tip is to make certain to follow the rice to liquid ratio. Using the correct ratio of rice to water makes the rice cook nice and fluffy.
Consider these things when choosing the best rice cooker (affiliate link) for your household:
- The number of servings. If you are cooking for yourself or have a small family, you will require a smaller rice cooker. If you regularly cook large servings of rice, then purchase a larger sized rice cooker.
- Product rating and reviews. When making any purchase, always read the reviews. That’s a good way to determine product durability and be aware of any performance issues.
Is a rice cooker worth it?
If you’re wondering if buying a rice cooker is worth it, my answer is, “most definitely!” Having a rice cooker makes cooking a breeze and overall, makes life easier. With a rice cooker, meal preparation is stress-free knowing your rice will be ‘ready to eat’ in about 30 minutes. Simply set the rice to cook, and have time to relax.
Jamaican Rice and Peas Recipe (Rice Cooker)
- rice cooker
- 3 cups white, parboiled or brown rice Make sure to use the measuring cup that comes with the rice cooker.
- 3 cups water Make sure to use the measuring cup that comes with the rice cooker.
- 1 can red kidney beans You may substitute the kidney bean with canned gungo peas (pigeon peas) in this recipe
- 4 - 5 tbsp coconut milk powder
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black or white pepper
- ¼ tsp allspice powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp dried thyme leaves (optional)
- 1 tbsp yellow onion finely chopped or grated
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- ¼ tsp scotch bonnet pepper (or to taste)
- 6 - 8 pimento seeds
- 2 stalks scallion/green onion
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- ½ inch gingerroot crushed
- Measure the rice and add it to the rice cooker pot.
- Check the rice package to determine if washing is necessary. If the rice has been pre-washed, there is no need to wash it, so skip that step.
- Wash the rice 2 - 3 times then drain it completely.
- Measure the water and add it to the pot of rice. (use equal parts of water to rice)
- Drain the canned peas before adding it to the pot.
- Add the coconut milk powder, all the dried seasoning, all the fresh seasoning and then stir the pot.
- Place the pot inside the rice cooker, cover it, plug it in, then press the 'cook' button.
- When the water starts to bubble, stir the pot with the spoon provided, then recover the pot.
- When the cook button pops up to indicate that the rice is ready, check to see if the rice has the desired texture.
- If the grains are too hard, sprinkle approximately 2 tbsp water over the rice, then use a piece of parchment paper or foil to cover the pot. Place the rice cooker cover over the parchment/foil then repress the 'cook' button to allow the rice to steam and 'fluff up'.
- If the rice is at the desired texture, replace the cover and let the rice steam for 5 minutes more. If the rice is a bit soft, uncover the rice cooker pot and repress the 'cook' button to allow the rice to dry out a bit.
- Serve your warm and delicious Jamaican Rice and Peas on its own or with Oxtail, Fried Chicken, Curry Goat, Baked Chicken or vegetables!
- Bless up and store any leftovers in the refrigerator.
- Please remember to come back and leave a rating and review under this recipe to let me know how it worked for you! Thanks in advance.